Lord Adonis

Lord Adonis calls for 'revolution in apprenticeships'

There should be as many apprenticeships on offer to school leavers as there are university places, former Labour education minister Lord Adonis has stated.

There should be as many apprenticeships on offer to school leavers as there are university places, Lord Adonis has stated.

Lord Adonis, the former Labour minister for schools, has called for a "revolution in apprenticeships." Announcing today, the Labour peer, has targeted this policy for younger persons who do not wish to enter into higher education.

"Our basic problem for the 50 per cent that do not go to university”, claimed Lord Adonis during a speech made at the ARK schools conference in central London, “is there's nothing like university that acts as a magnet for them in terms of aspiration to get on or getting out of bed in the morning."

Lord Adonis proclaimed: "My own view is the only way we'll crack this is if we have a revolution in apprenticeships. We need as many apprenticeship places for 18-year-olds as there are university places."

The desire is that apprenticeships should be "marketed like UCAS markets university places," said Lord Adonis.

"I think we can crack this problem of this very, very long tail of lack of competitiveness, lack of achievement, lack of motivation."

Lord Adonis also turned his attention toward Westminster, condemning the lack of apprenticeships within government. "The state should never preach about what it is not prepared to practise itself. The very worst institution for providing apprenticeships is government itself.”

Half of Whitehall departments do not have a single apprentice. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is responsible for "preaching apprenticeships to the private sector," has 3,500 civil servants and 13 apprentices, with just one aged under 21, Lord Adonis asserted before adding that the Department for Education has even less. "It is not a satisfactory state of affairs." Lord Adonis concluded.

A BIS spokeswoman said: "Provisional figures show apprenticeship starts topped the half a million mark this year, with particularly strong growth at advanced and higher levels. This achievement shows our commitment to creating a flexible highly skilled workforce and is a ringing endorsement from employers and apprentices alike, who are reaping the benefits of a more highly-skilled workforce.

"We are committed to supporting those figures within the Department and its agencies and we took on 62 new apprentices in 11-12."

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